Schieffer: The Big Easy is back & better than ever

(CBS News) So the big day is here. If you were here as we were in those awful days after Katrina, you had to wonder then if the city that hosted nine Super Bowls could ever pull it off again.

Well, make no mistake. The Big Easy is back, not bigger but better than ever.

The city that always had more fun per square inch than any place I know may have lost some population, but the number of restaurants has nearly doubled.

Dinner at old reliables like Galatoire's still tastes exactly the same as the last time you were here, which is why people keep coming back. You'll find some new dishes, too, around town. My colleague Mo Rocca found a vegan po' boy! Not for me, but it's there if you need it.

New Orleans has more good music on the sidewalks than most cities have indoors. The thing is, people here know how to have a good time and want visitors to have one, too.

People ask me who I'm cheering for today, and my answer is the people of New Orleans -- for the job they've done to bring this city back. Only those who were here in the days after Katrina can understand what they have accomplished.

No one paid me to say that, but since it does sound like a commercial, I guess I'd better say, "I'm Bob Schieffer and I approve New Orleans" -- love it, actually!

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    Bob Schieffer is a CBS News political contributor and former anchor of "Face The Nation," which he moderated for 24 years before retiring in 2015.